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Published date: July 17, 2018
Last modified: July 17, 2018

Young Critics Review 2018 – The Time Machine

A heart wrenching, haunting yet beautiful performance that I absolutely loved. With incredible lighting and music, I joined the time traveller through his journey into the future in this performance starring only him.

The lack of setting surprised me, a sheet covering the walls and white flooring and a wooden box of two stairs. This was consistent through the play and let you really focus on what was happening.

In the performance, effects were impeccably timed, even making it look as though the traveller actually lit a match and was walking around. Throughout the whole piece, the use of light to cast shadows of the traveller was amazing and made me feel there were more cast or that the actor himself could fill a larger space and magnify his movements. They also used music and lighting to give the effect of being in a time machine which gave the whole play an other worldly vibe. Also, throughout the performance, the actor and the effects made you feel involved which made it all the more enjoyable.

Stephen Cunningham kept the whole audience transfixed with his varied facial expressions and tone throughout the monologue. Having no break off stage for the whole performance and using his voice almost constantly, it was incredible to see him keep such vigour.

The storyline was an interesting spin-off of the H.G Wells classic, the Time Machine. Showing science fiction at its best, we joined the character as he saw past our time into an unknown world.

Here, he found two types of human; the innocent and naïve yet bold Eloi and the flesh-eating, rabid and powerful Morlocks. He showed us how the Elois perceived the Morlocks and vice versa. This helped me understand it and made me feel I was actually there. It was an excellent use of perspective that we should accredit the writer for. He describes some well-known landmarks as they might be found in the future making me relate to this new time era. Further exploring shows that this new world is not as delightful as he first thought.

Overwhelmed and wanting to go home, the traveller finds he has lost his travelling device. Once found he travels home but yearns for more. He must find out how far he can go. So he travels until there is nothing left except the final consequences of human lifestyle.

The play made me feel criticised as the traveller explored today’s planetary issues such as plastic soup and its effects. It made me realise that we have choices and could alter the future

I absolutely loved this performance and it will stick in my head for a lifetime. I found some parts confusing, especially when he was exasperated and was speaking so fast that I couldn’t take it all in. There were so many words however, that I would love to commend the actor for learning them all! I would definitely recommend this play as it was an intense journey presented in an upcoming new way, however, I think it is more aimed for adults as it was quite challenging and hard to follow. It was a pleasure to see such a work of art and I would say it is the best piece of theatre I have ever seen! 10/10

By Martha Skerry